Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stamps of Approval

Where: Smithsonian Castle

When: through April 29, 2012

I like going to the Castle; it's a beautiful building, and one can remember what the Smithsonian used to be  - one museum with a hodgepodge of items all jumbled together.  If you've not been to the Castle before, it's well worth a visit, regardless of what's exhibited there.

This show features several of the 20th century items shown on stamps issued by the Postal Service in their Pioneers of American Industrial Design collection.  It occurs to me that the Postal Museum might have been a more logical location for this show, but it's more convenient for me to go to the Castle, so I'm not complaining.

These items are the work of industrial designers, who shaped the look of life in 20th century America.  In the 1920s, companies began to hire these people, to give their products a modern, streamlined appearance.  My favorite items on display were the Fiestaware pitchers designed by Frederick Hurlen Rhead - the shape and the colors are wonderful.

Many more of these items are on display at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York; I'd never thought much about this museum since it's not in DC, but now I think I'd enjoy a trip.

Verdict: Do go see this show - everything on display has a marvelous look to it - well worth some time to admire.

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